White-flowered shrubs can look elegant and gorgeous in pretty much any type of outdoor space, however large or small the area you’re dealing with. You can expect some of the prettiest, most romantic, and most stunning results when choosing white flowering shrubs to decorate your garden space.
There are many white flower options to choose from, so you will be able to find the perfect type of blooms whatever the season and whatever the climate where you live.
Low-maintenance bushes are always a solid choice, and other considerations include how sunny your yard is, what your growing zone is and when you want the flowers to bloom. For example, evergreen white flowering shrubs will look lovely in the winter.
The Best Ratio of White Flowers to Colored Ones
Unless you want to create a ‘moon garden’ (an outdoor space to be enjoyed during the evening), bear in mind that if every flower in the garden is white, it can be glaring and bright.
This is why many keen gardeners prefer to add white flowering shrubs as an accent and to contrast with flowers in other colors. Lots of white flowers also have hints of other shades, perhaps a touch of pink or purple or a little sunny yellow.
So consider where you want to put the white flowers. White-flowered dwarf shrubs can look good as foundation plantings or in containers or borders, while larger shrubs make excellent specimen plants, hedges, or living screens.
You will need to know your soil quality and type, sun exposure, and climate zone before picking out which white flowers to grow. Many of them, like white lilac, dogwood, rhododendrons, and hydrangeas, do well in USDA zones 5 to 9 with full sun. Some perennials, like viburnum, hibiscus, and camellia, won’t thrive in colder climates.
White Flowering Shrubs to Choose From
If you are thinking about buying some blooming bushes featuring white flowers for the spring and summer, read on for some great choices.
1.) White Hydrangeas (USDA Zones 3-9)
Deciduous shrubs offering big white flowers plus blooms in other colors, hydrangea shrubs have big, heart-shaped leaves, bushy growth, and gorgeous pastel-shade flowers.
These shrubs can grow between 4 to 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Expect a lengthy blooming season and flowers from the summer until the fall.
Hydrangeas make excellent flowering live fences, front-of-house bushes, specimen plants, or shrub borders. You can also prune them to make an eye-catching shrub-like tree. This plant prefers partial shade or even full sun.
2.) Japanese Andromeda Pieris Japonica (USDA Zones 4-8)
This evergreen shrub with white flowers is really pretty to look at and will add appeal to any garden.
The drooping clusters of little bell-shaped flowers look a bit like the lily of the valley. The flower clusters can get up to 6 inches in length, and Japanese Andromeda blooms in the early spring.
The lanceolate leaves of this shrub start an orange bronze shade before turning glossy green during maturation.
Another name for Japanese Andromeda is Japanese Pieris. The shrub can grow between 9 and 12 feet high and reach 8 feet wide. It prefers partial shade or even full sun.
3.) Cherry Laurel Prunus Laurocerasus (USDA Zones 6-9)
This attractive evergreen shrub has little white, scented flowers that will grow in 4-inch long clusters. These flowers have an almost plum-like fragrance and bloom in the spring.
The leaves are big and lance-shaped, and they grow on the branches densely. This shrub also sports red berries during the winter.
Expect your cherry laurel to grow quickly. The shrub can grow to 10 or even 20 feet tall. It can grow up to 11 feet in width. Because the foliage is bushy and thick, this plant is perfect as a specimen plant, screen, or flowering hedge.
4.) White Spirea Shrub (USDA Zones 3-8)
This shrub is deciduous and hardy. The flowers might bloom during the spring or summer, depending on which variety you go for, and last for up to a month.
It offers lots of tiny flowers in white clusters. Some of the most popular varieties include Korean spirea, bridal wreath spirea, and garland spirea.
These plants can brighten up the garden during the warmest months and will grow up to 9 feet tall, although some varieties will only reach 3 feet.
If you want to grow white spirea in a container, meadowsweet spirea, birch leaf spirea, and spirea thunbergia are great candidates.
5.) White Azaleas (USDA Zones 4-7 or Zones 7-9 Depending on Variety)
These big shrubs prefer partial shade and bear gorgeous semi-double white and colorful blooms. White azaleas come in a variety of native species producing white flowers.
Azaleas are very similar to rhododendrons, but while rhododendrons typically have bell-shaped flowers, azaleas have funnel-shaped, trumpet-shaped, or tubular flowers with about five up to 25 flowers per cluster.
Moist, well-drained soil is important for healthy azaleas. These big shrubs will bloom during the spring and summer, giving a heady fragrance.
Depending on the species, these shrubs will grow between 4 and 20 feet tall and wide.
6.) White Flowering Magnolia Shrub (USDA Zones 5-9)
You’re probably already familiar with the sweet-smelling cup-shaped or star-shaped white flowers on a magnolia shrub or tree.
The flowers range in different colors, from white or off-white to light or bright pink. They usually bloom early in the spring, and some flowers will last all summer and into the first part of the fall.
The largest of these flowers can reach up to 12 inches across, and some flowers have 35 rectangular white petals forming the shape of a star. Others have red stamens set in droopy goblet-shaped flowers.
A white flowering magnolia shrub can be the size of a small tree, and this plant prefers partial shade or full sun.
7.) Virginia Sweetspire Itea Virginica (USDA Zones 5-9)
This little perennial shrub boasts long, thin clusters of cream-colored bottlebrush-shaped flower spikes. Its arched racemes are between 3 and 6 inches in length and smell sweet and heady.
It’s a deciduous plant with lush lanceolate leaves that start off a dark green and turn orange or red when fall comes around.
This multi-stemmed shrub forms bushes of 3 to 10 feet tall, and the gorgeous white flowers and foliage suit hedges, foundation plantings, or borders.
It doesn’t mind moist ground, making it suitable to grow near a pond.
8.) White Hibiscus Hibiscus Syriacus / Rose of Sharon (USDA Zones 5-9)
These shrubs have funnel-shaped or trumpet-shaped flowers with five petals each. Late-blooming flowers feature delicate crepe-like petals that can be 3 inches wide.
Expect flowers to bloom continuously throughout the summer and fall.
Although individual flowers will only bloom for one day, the plant as a whole is constantly in flower and will be so every year.
This is a hardy shrub that is simple enough for a novice home gardener to grow.
It has dark green foliage that contrasts nicely with the pretty white flowers, and you can expect White Hibiscus to grow up to 10 feet wide and 12 feet tall.
9.) White Rose Shrubs Rosa (USDA Zones 5-10)
If you’re looking for especially impressive flowering white shrubs, consider rose shrubs that boast fragrant, romantic, and elegant flowers on woody stems.
The flowers are round, with multiple petals evenly distributed around the middle of each flower. There can be anywhere from 5 to 60 petals on each one.
Perennial shrub roses have trailing, upright, or climbing growth, making them suitable for various garden uses. You can have them climbing a trellis, growing over an arbor, or in a container or mixed bed.
It can also be grown as specimen plants and can grow up to 6 feet tall while climbing roses can reach 14 feet high.
10.) Viburnum White Flowering Shrubs (USDA Zones 4-8)
A lot of species of this particular shrub have multiple stems and clusters of small 4-petaled white flowers in snowball-type clusters.
The flowers will usually be in bloom from the middle or end of spring for a couple of weeks. Some varieties will flower in the winter with pinky-white flowers, each cluster of which can grow up to 2½ inches across.
Viburnum is an evergreen shrub in some zones, and the thick leafy foliage and pretty white flowers can be used for a privacy hedge, foundation planting, or perennial shrub border.
If you live somewhere cooler, you will see the viburnum leaves turn dark maroon in the fall. Expect these shrubs to grow up to 10 feet tall and 7 feet wide.
11.) Hummingbird Summersweet Clethra Alnifolia (USDA Zones 3-9)
This shrub features long white spikes of white bottlebrush flowers. It’s a shrub that’s resistant to the cold and has conical clusters of flowers that can grow up to 6 inches long.
The little flowers, which are cup-shaped, bloom in June and July, and the shiny green leaves go yellow in the fall. This plant grows in mounds ranging from 5 to 10 feet tall.
The white flowers will bloom in the shade and the sun, which isn’t the case for most flowering shrubs.
12.) Wine Ninebark Physocarpus Opulifolius (USDA Zones 2-8)
This leafy shrub features little fuzzy clusters of flowers shaped like a half-dome. The round flowers are typically pinkish-white and grow anywhere between 1 and 3 inches in width.
Wine ninebark is deciduous and has big lobe-edged leaves which are golden in the fall. It’s good for flowering hedges, barriers, or borders or in mass plantings.
It’s a good plant to choose if you want something that tolerates sun, shade, poor soil, or drought, meaning it’s nice to use in landscaping.
The shrubby bush will grow up to 8 feet high, although the dwarf cultivar known as ‘nana’ grows to 1 or 2 feet high, making it a nice choice for containers.
13.) White Flowering Camellia Shrubs (USDA Zones 7-9)
This Japanese plant is evergreen and has wide leaves and pretty white flowers in bloom from the winter until the start of spring.
The double flowers can get up to 6 inches wide and have up to 20 petals nestled in a peony-like shape. With its glossy green leaves and early-blooming flowers, the Japanese camellia is certainly eye-catching.
This shrub will grow up to 13 feet tall and between 5 and 10 feet wide. There are different species of camellia, and some will grow little 1½ inch flowers while some grow bigger ones.
The flowers will last for up to a month, and they do well in shrub borders or containers, creating a gorgeous and aromatic flowering hedge.
14.) Purple Ninebark Physocarpus Opulifolius (USDA Zones 3-7)
This beautiful and decorative shrub is perfect for landscaping. Boasting deep purple leaves along with clusters of domed pinkish-white flowers and a yellow middle, it’s certainly a plant of contrasts.
The deciduous leaves drop to reveal reddish-brown bark, which looks nice during the winter months.
Purple ninebark will grow up to 8 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide. Its dark leaves and white floral clusters make this shrub a good candidate for mass plantings, a living screen plant, or shrub border.
15.) False Holly Osmanthus Heterophyllus (USDA Zones 6-9)
This big rounded shrub is a late bloomer offering plenty of little white flowers which boast a gorgeous sweet smell. Blooming during the fall and lasting until early winter.
The flowers are a nice contrast with their shiny green leaves. If you’re wondering about this shrub’s name, it comes from the evergreen leaves, which are jagged like holly leaves.
False holly is a nice choice if you want a flowering shrub for security hedges, foundation plantings, or even a year-round privacy hedge. Expect it to grow up to 21 feet in height and 10 feet wide.
16.) Deutzia (USDA Zones 5-8)
Deutzia is rather unusual when compared to other white-flowered shrubs. The reason is that this shrub can bloom even when kept in the shade.
The shape of this shrub is typically cascading or weeping, and it’s a member of the hydrangea family hence the small, clustered sets of flowers.
It’s pretty straightforward to take care of deutzia since the shrub tolerates any type of soil and isn’t prone to diseases. Expect your deutzia to reach up to 4 feet in height and the same amount in width.
You can also develop roots from cascading Deutzia branches that touch the soil, so if you let them do this, the plant can spread itself further around your garden.
17.) Winter Daphne Daphne Odora ‘Alba’ (USDA Zones 7-9)
This evergreen flowering shrub has sweet-smelling pale pink flowers, while the Daphne’ Alba’ cultivar boasts packed globe-like clusters of off-white flowers which bloom from late winter until early spring.
Something else you’ll like about winter Daphne is the shiny, green, rectangular, pointed leaves that can grow up to 3 inches long.
The shrubs grow up to 6 feet wide and up to 4 feet high. They prefer full sun and consistently moist ground for the best result.
The ‘Aureomarginata Alba’ is another lovely cultivar of Daphne odora, which has gorgeous white flowers and white-rimmed, shiny, dark green foliage.
18.) Red Twig Dogwood Cornus Alba (USDA Zones 2-8)
This multi-stemmed shrub is an ornamental, yellow-white flowered shrub with ovate, deep green leaves, and pretty coral red stems.
It grows quickly and has pretty clusters of star-shaped, flat-topped white flowers. Red twig dogwood is a quick-growing landscaping plant that offers year-round interest.
During the spring and summer, you will see green and yellow ovate leaves and white flowers.
During the fall, the leaves turn red, maroon, and purple, and then, in winter, you can enjoy the bright red stems of this shrub.
Use it as a border plant, accent shrub, or elegant flowering hedge. Plant red twig dogwood shrubs in full sun so that vigorous blooming during the spring months can be encouraged.
This shrub grows from 8 – 10 feet in height and can get up to 10 feet wide if given space.
19.) Arabian Jasmine (USDA Zones 9-11)
If you’re looking for a delicately flowered shrub, Arabian jasmine is a great contender for your garden. This flowering shrub offers bright green leaves even when it’s blooming season.
What’s the first thing you think of when thinking about jasmine? For most of us, it would be the heady aroma, which is what you will be treated to if you choose to plant some Arabian jasmine.
The flowers change from white to pink as they mature, and you will be able to see (and smell!) the blooms throughout the summer.
Arabian jasmine is evergreen and will grow up to 10 feet high and 10 feet wide. It likes full sun but is also perfectly happy with partial shade.
20.) Japanese Aralia / Fatsia Japonica (USDA Zones 7-10)
The big palm-like, shiny leaves on long stems give this Japanese shrub a tropical look, while the creamy white flowers are also gorgeous.
It’s an ornamental shrub with small clusters of flowers that are about an inch across. Japanese aralia does especially well in shaded gardens, and the globe-like flowers and exotic foliage offer a nice rounded growth.
This shrub matures to up to 19 feet high and up to 6 feet wide. You can grow it in hanging baskets, containers, or on the ground.
21.) White Lilac Bushes Syringa Vulgaris (USDA Zones 3-7)
These hardy, deciduous shrubs will produce clusters of white, pink, or purple blooms in cone-like shapes. They have a short blooming season.
Once the shrub blooms, you can expect plenty of fragrant, long, white flower clusters, known as panicles, which will cover the shrub. The flowers on white lilac bushes can grow up to 8 inches long.
The shrub itself can grow up to 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide, and it’s a nice shrub for creating a privacy hedge or privacy screen.
If you only have a container garden or small-sized garden, you can choose one of the dwarf lilac varieties instead.
22.) Korean Spice Viburnum (USDA Zones 4-7)
This white flowering shrub will have you inhaling deeply every time you walk past because the fragrance really is that amazing!
Korean spice viburnum can grow up to 6 feet high and up to 6 feet across. During the spring growing season, you will see abundant white flowers, while in the summer, these turn into red berries.
Choose an area of well-drained soil for this flowering shrub. It’s fine in anything from partial shade to full sun but won’t thrive in dense, constant shade.
Something else that’s great about Korean spice viburnum is how the leaves turn red during the fall, and then the red gives way to purple in the winter.
Make sure you always keep the soil watered. Although this shrub is fairly drought-resistant, feel free to give it extra water if it hasn’t rained in a while.
As you can see, you won’t be stuck for options if you’re on the lookout for the most beautiful white flowering shrubs. There are plenty to choose from, and we have only listed a few of your choices above.
Once you know what kind of look you are going for, which USDA zone your climate falls into, and think about your budget and the size of the garden, outdoor space, or container garden you are working with, you can have fun picking out some beautiful white flowering shrubs.
These shrubs will fill, enhance or complement your garden, adding visual interest and wonderful fragrances which can be enjoyed year-round.
If you love white-flowering plants, check out our article on white-flowering trees!